Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Finding inspiration

Glittering #1

One question I find I do a lot of thinking about, and am asked often about by others, is where do the ideas for the work come from?


Regular readers know that nature is probably the most obvious of my long-time touchstones (especially when my favourite artists, like Lawren Harris, have interpreted a place that I've been to, like Pic Island above): I like being out in the landscape, observing life (both flora and fauna), and watching the light shift shadows about. Landscape as Muse, which, sadly, is no longer being made, allowed me to see other artists doing the same thing, and struck many chords in my own artistic music suite as well.

One of the programs featured Landon Mackenzie, who has a wonderful show currently on display at the Esker Foundation here in Calgary through January 5, 2013: tucked back in one corner is even the episode she appears in, as well as the large finished painting she is seen to be working on, which is pretty interesting.


In conjunction with the show, I went to a lecture entitled Making Pictures, Making Places: Landscapes, Art and Identities by Dr. Benedict Fullalove, the Head of Liberal Studies at the Alberta College of Art + Design, last Saturday, on what was really a crappy weather day. Despite that, 36 of 39 people who had registered showed up to see terrific slides of the Columbia Icefield and great historic Canadian art (like Harris's Isolation Peak above).

His talk asked the questions What is the relationship between a place and an image of a place? How has landscape art helped to define some key aspects of our identity? Can landscape art also prompt us to ask questions about what it means to be Canadian? and while on the way to my next artsy destination, as well as much of the time I've been out walking since, I've been rolling those questions, and some of the answers, around in my own mind. It's definitely helping with some of the writing I want, and need, to do about the upcoming submissions I've been thinking about putting in.

Glittering #3

Now that I'm back thinking more like an artist -- well, just thinking in general, I guess -- I've started reviewing the work I've done and the future projects (including the big one, which I hope to talk about more in public soon) that I've started working on.

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